The Sitting Solution

One of the things that is so great about the Paleo Diet is that it has this sort of “shot gun” approach with regards to what is possible when one takes on this lifestyle.

In other words, many people may begin the Paleo Diet with the goal to lose weight, but after doing a 30-day challenge they’ll likely notice, they not only lost weight, their skin cleared up, digestion improved, energy levels increased, and they got happier!

This was certainly the case for me. I went into this whole thing with the goals of becoming a stronger, faster and more powerful athlete (which ALL happened)…but that was just the tip of the iceberg. For 7+ years prior to changing my dietary habits, I developed a fairly serious skin condition and was in deep depression (both of which I was using medication to treat.) After only one month of changing some key nutrition and lifestyle issues my skin cleared up and I felt this fog that had been keeping me unhappy fade away. I’ve been off all meds since.

This incredible healing experience has helped me realize the importance of getting to the root of the problem versus just treating the symptoms. I’ve taken this valuable lesson and currently use it in my approach to treating the musculoskeletal system as a physical therapist.

Many of us were brought up in a world eating toxic foods, suffered for it, and resigned to chasing symptoms using conventional medicine…never addressing the root issue. And in the same way, many of us have grown up in a world where we mimic with toxic movements and put ourselves in poor positions. We began with a lifetime of chronic sitting behind desks in grade school, continued sitting throughout our education and at our jobs, our postures crumbled, we developed poor movement patterns and we are suffering because of it.

But, just as there is often a way out of feeling lousy and enduring chronic disease by improving food quality, getting sleep, and decreasing stress, etc….there is also a way out of many of the physical pains we experience. We often endure pains in the neck, back, shoulders, hips, etc., which are typically not due to traumatic injuries but are a result of remaining stagnant in poor positions or performing poor movement patterns. Sadly, these aches and pains become chronic and ..which so often lead to consistent use of medications with unwanted side effects, costly surgeries, loss of function and negatively effects the quality of our lives.

So something I’ve learned is to use this “shotgun approach” to treat the musculoskeletal system. In other words when I’m working with someone I ask myself what’s the “ONE THING” I can focus on that can make the most difference in terms of preventing and often times treating pain. It’s like the 80/20 rule on steroids.

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Generally speaking, that “ONE THING” is the spine. When the spine is aligned, has adequate mobility, and is stable, everything else in the body begins to move back where it’s designed to be. Even more specifically, there is one region of the spine that when properly cared for/addressed gives you the most “bang for our buck” in terms of restoring alignment and functional mobility to the rest of the body. I am referring to the THORACIC SPINE. It’s what I call the missing link…and I believe that if you address this area of the body, specifically when you are sitting for long periods, you will drastically reduce your chances of experiencing pain AND and you’ll improve your chances of standing up straight as long as you live.

There are other bonuses to addressing the thoracic spine as well…you’ll improve your posture which can positively impact your physiology, you’ll perform better in the gym and you’ll generally carry around more awesomeness with you. It’s a shotgun thing:)

So… today I’d like to show you some things you can do to restore mobility and stability in the thoracic spine. I specifically want to cover things that you can do WHILE your in the workspace which is where this stuff matters the most.

Watch the video below and I’ll show you more:

 

 

Written by: Chad Walding, DPT, OPT-L1, RKC